Elder Keato's Address

Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos S.U.D.
Caixa Postal 18404
Luanda, Angola

Saturday, July 14, 2012

2 Weeks Left!

Is it really Friday already??? Sheesh. I'm going to be out of here and in Angola before I know it. Which I am very much excited for by the way. Not that I don't love this place, it's just that I'm ready to go start Preachin'! I definitely still need these next two weeks for the language though, it's coming along, but I want to be as far along as possible. I'll probably be getting my travel plans this week! CRAZY. I'm actually going to Angola, I never saw that actually happening. haha.
So, it was another absolutely awesome week! It was more on the normal side but still way good. Like I said in my last email, the days are flying by super fast. The week started out great with some awesome donuts from Momma! Holy cow those were good. The whole floor demolished them in about 10 minutes. And the new ties! Ties are all I really get to change about my apperal so those were nice. Thanks Momma! Oh, I also got a SICK hand-made tie from Camille. LOVE IT. She's the best.
The talks were really good this week, but the one that really stuck out to me was a talk that we watched on Sunday night. (Every Sunday night we get to either watch one of the Joseph Smith movies or past talks from Apostles that came to the MTC.) We decided to watch a talk by Elder Holland called Forevor a Missionary or something like that. He spoke about how this isn't our Mission, it's the Lord's. One thing I liked that he said was this, "This is the Lord's work, we HAVE to do it his way." And that means that if we do it his way and are obedient to His rules then we will be able to have His spirit with us always. Which is absolutely essential. He also compared it a lot to the missionaries in the Book of Mormon and they always left their audience "Astonished". He challenged all of us to go out and "Astonish Somebody". Super cool. He also spoke about how salvation isn't cheap. It wasn't for Christ, so it's not going to be for us. We need to do all that we can to prove ourselves in this life. The last thing that he said was "If you do your mission right, it'll be hard." It got me so excited to get out into the field and start doing some work! I know that these next two years are going to be the toughest of my life, but I'm ready for it! Sure I might get Malaria (kidding Mom), but the gift that we'll be giving to the people of Angola is worth the sacrifice. I love the quote that Mom has in the house that says "A missionary is someone that leaves their family for 2 years so that others can be with their families for eternity." If you can't tell I'm really excited to get to Angola! But, I still have a ton that I need to learn here.
So I had another cool eye opening experience this week. We were doing an excersise that we do a couple times a week were we just teach one of the lessons to the other missionaries in 5 minutes or so. In Portuguese... It's pretty hard to fit everything in in 5 minutes but we make it work. One of our teachers wanted to get us thinking on what the center of every lesson was. We finally figured it out that Jesus Christ and His Atonement truly is the center of everything. With out Jesus Christ and the Atonement the Plan of Salvation wouldn't work, the Restoration couldn't have happened, and everything that our lives are based upon would be different. This really opened my eyes to the importance of the Savior in all that we do. I definitely had a testimony of Him, but it's definitely a lot bigger now.
As these next few weeks wind down I'm going to be trying really hard to get as much of head start on the language as I can, I want to be able to hit the ground running when I get there. Up on the soccer field this week I started talking to an Elder from Capo Verde who spoke to me in the African Portuguese accent. Super sweet. It got me so excited to get down there and try to speak the language with them. haha. If they ask me about anything other than the gospel then I'm screwed but I'm there to preach the Gospel so it's all good!
I'm so glad to hear that Bear Lake has been a blast! It probably would have been hard for me to be away from it if I didn't love being a missionary so much! A big shout out to Sam and Mom for being the Tennis Champs! That tennis acadamy paid off! I don't think I've ever made it out of the first round of that tournament. Whatever... Con boa sorte on your big bike ride around the lake. Ride that bike with pride, cause I don't think I really ever did. haha. How has Mafia been? Or did you just decide to take a 2 year break? Party hard for me!!
I love you guys so much! I have the best family in the world! Thanks for all of your love and support!
Com amor,
Elder Keats
Sam: Thanks for the email! I'm glad to hear that you're still alive and that you have had an awesome few weeks! Love ya sis.
Syd: I'm sure it's been good to have a break from dance! You're the best sista. Love you!
Luke: What's up my dancin' man! I heard you threw down some pretty good moves at the dance! Love ya buddy!
Con: You're the man, man. Props on your bike ride around the lake! I've always wanted to do that, but figured I'd golf instead :)

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